iPhone hacking price list: Here’s how much hackers charge for zero-day iOS exploits | Tech News

iPhone hacking price list: Here’s how much hackers charge for zero-day iOS exploits

The market for zero-day exploits is booming, with prices soaring for hacks targeting iPhones, iMessage, and more.

| Updated on: Apr 07 2024, 15:56 IST
Crowdfense's latest pricing list reveals the escalating value of vulnerabilities, with iPhone hacks commanding up to $7 million. (Unsplash)

In the world of cybersecurity, the market for zero-day exploits is booming, with prices skyrocketing for hacks targeting popular devices and software. Crowdfense, a startup specializing in acquiring and reselling zero-day vulnerabilities, recently unveiled its latest pricing list, revealing staggering sums for exploits targeting iPhones, iMessage, and more.

Pricing Revealed: Valuation of Zero-Day Hacks

Zero-day exploits, named for their reliance on undisclosed vulnerabilities unknown to software developers, fetch hefty sums due to their potential for covert surveillance and espionage. Crowdfense's pricing list indicates that it will pay anywhere from $5 to $7 million for zero-days capable of infiltrating iPhones, while Android exploits can net up to $5 million. Similarly, exploits targeting popular web browsers and messaging platforms command top dollar, with Google Chrome and Safari vulnerabilities fetching up to $3 million and $3.5 million, respectively, and iMessage and WhatsApp hacks fetching between $3 and $5 million, reported techcrunch.

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Escalating Prices: Factors Driving the Surge

These figures mark a significant increase from Crowdfense's previous pricing, reflecting the growing demand for sophisticated hacking tools. The surge in prices can be attributed to heightened security measures implemented by tech giants like Apple and Google, prompting hackers to seek out increasingly rare and elusive vulnerabilities.

While Crowdfense's payouts are among the highest in the industry, other players, particularly in Russia, offer even more lucrative rewards. Last year, a Russian company named Operation Zero announced plans to pay up to $20 million for iPhone and Android exploits, though geopolitical tensions and sanctions may impact the accessibility of such deals.

Despite the allure of lucrative payouts from third-party brokers, tech companies like Apple also offer their own bug bounty programs. Apple's Security Research Bounty program, for instance, offers rewards of up to $2 million for critical security vulnerabilities discovered in its products.

The escalating prices for zero-day exploits underscore the evolving landscape of cybersecurity, where the race to discover and exploit vulnerabilities is driven by both financial incentives and geopolitical interests. As technology continues to advance, the demand for effective cybersecurity measures and ethical hacking practices becomes increasingly vital in safeguarding digital ecosystems against malicious actors.

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First Published Date: 07 Apr, 15:56 IST